The word whisky comes from the Gaelic word uisge beatha meaning “water of life”. It is one of the most diverse spirits on the planet. Whisky has long been the tipple of choice for people of taste. Today, there are thousands of whisky brands available. But, as a connoisseur, it is important to sample as many different brands as possible. Check out this curated list of top whiskies to help expand your horizons.

Macallan 12 Year Old Sherry Oak

Perfectly balanced with wood smoke and spice, The Macallan 12 Year Old Sherry Oak is enchantingly smooth. A few whisky experts consider it to be simply the best 12 year old single malt around. This whisky features notes of vanilla, ginger, dried fruits and wood smoke. This creates a palate that is deliciously smooth, with rich dried fruits and sherry, balanced with wood smoke and spice. Also of note is its lingering aftertaste that features sweet toffee.

The Balvenie Doublewood 12 Year

A renowned Whisky with truly distinctive character, The Balvenie Doublewood Single Malt Scotch Whisky uses two woods in its maturation state. The first is an oak cask that gives it a woody aroma. The second is an oak sherry cask from Spain. Each stage makes for different characteristics to the resulting whisky - the oak casks add character while softening, and the sherry cask adds fullness and depth. This amber liquid has a fruity, light aroma that is very inviting. It has a gentle finish with notes of honey and oak. This comfortable and quenching beverage goes very well with dessert.

Talisker 10 Year Old

Talisker is located on the Isle of Skye. In fact, Talisker is the only whisky distillery on the island. It is a very earthy drink and is quite peat-heavy. Also, it is one of the more complex whiskies and that can make it an acquired taste. A dash of water really opens up the flavours. This whisky features hints of sea air, brine and blood orange. The earthy taste of this whisky has been known to evoke visions of cliffs and waterfalls. It is immensely complex and intricate. It also features an aftertaste that is long, warming and citrusy. This edgy and mysterious whisky is the perfect companion for a rainy day.

Glenmorangie the Original (10 Year)

The Glenmorangie Original is a highly admired whisky. Part of the reason for that is the fact that is aged for 10 years exclusively in ex-bourbon casks. This process bestows upon it notes of citrusy honey and a light caramel colour. The Glenmorangie Original also features hints of floral character and fruit. This medium bodied whisky has complex characteristics that include notes of butterscotch and vanilla. This is a great summer whisky and pairs very well with food.

Laphroaig (10 Year)

Laphroaig is a classic Islay scotch whisky that is light bodied but packs quite a punch. This malt is pale straw in colour and has an earthy, smoky flavour. This whisky features hints of grass and scorched wood. This whisky is best enjoyed with a dash of water. The taste is heavily influenced by peat, ash and hardwood coals. There are also notes of rosewater and hearty smoke. The smoke flavour is intense and long lasting. These characteristics make Laphroaig a great after-dinner drink.

These five brands represent the very pinnacle of whisky perfection. They bring to the forefront the dedicated craftsmanship of whisky distilleries from around the world. Go ahead; follow your palate and your heart to find your own favourite whisky.